Alex Jones files for bankruptcy protection – Daily Local

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By PAUL J.WEBER and DAVE COLLINS

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Alex Jones’ company Infowars has filed for bankruptcy after the conspiracy theorist lost libel lawsuits over his claims that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a hoax.

Jones filed for Chapter 11 protection in Texas and told his listeners Monday he was “completely exhausted” financially. He encouraged his audience to contribute money or purchase products from his Infowars website.

Lawyers for the Sandy Hook families have accused Jones of attempting to hide assets worth millions of dollars as a jury will determine how much in damages he should pay later this year.

Here’s what you should know:

WHAT DOES ALEX JONES CLAIM?

Infowars told the bankruptcy court that it had estimated assets of $50,000 or less and estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million. Creditors listed in the filing include relatives of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the 2012 Connecticut school shooting.

Two other companies with ties to Jones, Prison Planet TV and IW Health, also filed for bankruptcy.

An attorney for has not returned messages for comment, but Jones has addressed the bankruptcy on his show for the past few days. He was banned from major social media platforms for hate speech and abusive behavior.

“We have less than $3 million in cash and we need that money to buy future products to be operational,” Jones said.

WHAT IS JONES GOING TO DO?

Jury selection was due to begin next week in Austin with a trial to determine how much Jones should pay the families of Sandy Hook victims. He faces similar trials in Connecticut later this year.

Plaintiffs in those cases said they faced harassment and death threats from Jones’ supporters because he encouraged the hoax conspiracy that crisis actors staged the shooting to take guns away from the federal government and curb firearms.

Jones has since admitted the shooting took place.

“Alex Jones is only delaying the inevitable: a public trial holding him accountable for his profit-driven campaign of lies against the Sandy Hook families who filed this lawsuit,” said Christopher Mattei, who is representing the families in the Connecticut trial against Jones.

Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was killed in the Newtown school shooting, said he didn’t immediately know how the bankruptcy would affect his libel lawsuit against Jones in Texas.

“It is what it is,” Heslin said. “We’ll see where this all leads. He tried everything to avoid everything.”

WHAT ARE JONES’ FINANCES?

In a separate lawsuit earlier this month, Jones was accused of hiding assets worth millions. A lawyer for Jones has called the allegation “ridiculous”.

Last month Jones was fined $75,000 for failing to appear to testify in a defamation case, but last week a judge ordered the money returned because Jones eventually showed up.

Bankruptcy court filings allege that Jones paid $10 million in legal fees. He claimed in court filings last year that he had a negative net worth of $20 million, but attorneys for Sandy Hook families have painted a different financial picture.

Court records show that Jones’ Infowars store, which sells nutritional supplements and survival gear, made more than $165 million between 2015 and 2018.

“He’s under much more scrutiny in a bankruptcy court than in a state court,” said Sid Scheinberg, a bankruptcy attorney at Godwin Bowman in Dallas who is not involved in the Jones case.

WHAT EFFECT WILL THIS HAVE ON SANDY HOOK CASES?

The Chapter 11 filing stays a civil suit while the company reorganizes its finances.

This isn’t the first time a bankruptcy filing has affected a lawsuit filed by the Sandy Hook families. While it was suing gun manufacturer Remington, which made the AR-15-style rifle used in the school shooting, the company twice filed for bankruptcy. In the second case filed in 2020, Remington’s assets were eventually sold to other companies.

The 2020 bankruptcy delayed proceedings by a year in the Connecticut lawsuit seeking damages against Remington for marketing its rifles. In February, the families of nine school shooting victims announced they had agreed to settle the case for $73 million.

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Collins reported from Hartford, Connecticut.

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